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Old 07-31-2018, 01:27 AM   #1
mpu737
 
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Default Sopwith Scout Prop Help

Having looked around for several years, I finally took the plunge recently and purchased a Prop from a Sopwith Scout (Pup). I was attracted by the historic value of it having been used on such an iconic WW1 aircraft and the fact that I have just not seen such a prop with this pedigree advertised for sale before.
I also have just returned from a trip touring some of the WW1 battlefields in Belgium, which has kindled an interest in this history.

The prop is in nice condition and displays well, although unfortunately has been cut in half, which while has made it easier to transport, would I imagine devalue it considerably.

I have enjoyed researching some more information on the prop on this and other internet sites and am amazed at the depth of knowledge and information that is out there.

Other than having been re lacquered (and cut) the prop is in excellent condition and does not appear to have been repaired or damaged in any way, but shows obvious signs of having been used on an aircraft... which is great.

On the hub is:
D 2600 (Diameter)
P 2200 (Pitch) Not sure how this value is calculated/measured.
L 13749 (Not sure what this means)
80 HP LE RHONE
SOPWITH SCOUT
SHORT NOSE
DRG.L P1020A (Drawing number?)

There are a few pieces of information that I would like to appeal for, if you could help please.

What does “Short nose” mean?
What do the numbers 4397 and 101 stamped on the back of the prop signify?
Also on the back is the Lang Propellers stamp and a patent number, but above that are some other letters an “I” and “R D”.
Also on front is a stamp in a circle with the letters P and L superimposed (Lang Propellers I assume) and number 7.
What approximate value should I insure this for? (My contents cover requires antiques to be itemised)

I have uploaded a few photos that may help.

Any other info would be greatly appreciated. My aim is to compile a short history of the prop that can be framed and hung beside it.

Thanks in advance.

Mark.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:29 AM   #2
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Some more photos as reached the max of 6:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 17613115-C07C-4DDC-B571-4F824111B4E5.jpg (94.8 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg F3DBB6E4-EB96-41D1-96E7-98453F71B0DB.jpg (90.6 KB, 5 views)
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:27 PM   #3
Dbahnson
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Sorry that we all seem to have missed this the first time around.

I'm beginning to re-think this situation with props cut in half. If the prop is otherwise original, it's likely that it was cut in half a very long time ago (for transportation reasons, as you mentioned). While clearly an intact prop would have greater value, the cutting-for-transport aspect really should detract significantly from display, and the act of cutting it is just part of its provenance. Re-finishing, by comparison, was invariably done to "make it look nice and more valuable" when in fact it had the opposite effect. Cutting it was done out of necessity at the time it was done, recognizing that it would not be as valuable but that it was the only way to preserve it.

I once sold a Bristol Fighter prop that had been cut into three pieces. It had been re-assembled and actually made a very nice "semi-original" display piece. It had all of the aesthetics of the original prop, all of the nicks and dings of an authentic antique, and no evidence of more malicious efforts to improve its original appearance. I almost wish now that I had kept it.
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Old 08-27-2018, 10:40 PM   #4
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Thanks Dave,
At least the “hub” that joins the two halves appears to be part of the prop to many casual observers and most don’t even notice that two sections would not be normal. However a collector would think otherwise of course.
As much as anything I think it’s the story or history that goes with it that makes props an interesting collectable, which is why I am keen to know as much as possible about it.
Regards,
Mark.
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:17 AM   #5
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From Mark:
There are a few pieces of information that I would like to appeal for, if you could help please.


What does “Short nose” mean? I don't know. Whilst I have seen the term many times I don't recall ever seeing a reference to a long-nose Pup.
What do the numbers 4397 and 101 stamped on the back of the prop signify? I don't know. Perhaps RNAS depot reference numbers.
Also on the back is the Lang Propellers stamp and a patent number, but above that are some other letters an “I” and “R D”. Perhaps the initials of the man who made it.
Also on front is a stamp in a circle with the letters P and L superimposed (Lang Propellers I assume) and number 7. LP4 and LP7 are internal Lang numbers, always seen on Lang props, but seldom together. Possibly the 'passed inspection' stamp of Lang's inspectors
What approximate value should I insure this for? Ignore the cut for insurance matters. £3500.00 GBP. It might well take two to three years to find another.

D 2600 The diameter in mm. It could vary by a few mm to meet the nature of the wood used.
P 2200 The theoretical distance in mm that the airscrew will pull the aircraft forward in flight in one rotation.
L 13749 Lang's serial number
80 HP LE RHONE The French rotary engine
SOPWITH SCOUT The official name that no one used. It was universally called the Pup because alongside the Sopwith One-and-a-half-Strutter it looked like its off-spring.
SHORT NOSE I don't know. As I write the thought occurs that I have never heard of a Long Nose Sop Pup!
DRG.LP1020A Lang's drawing number for the blue print.

With kind regards,

Bob
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Last edited by Bob Gardner; 08-28-2018 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:16 AM   #6
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Thank you Bob.
I will do some more research regarding the “short nose” reference.
Are you able to tell at all if this may have been a Naval Prop? Looking at old photos there seems to be a few different looking props fitted to the Pup. I know they made them from both Walnut and Mahogany, mine is Walnut I think, so not sure if that is relevant or not.
Regards,
Mark.
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:41 AM   #7
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Mark,

Tommy Sopwith was in effect the in-house aircraft designer for the Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) and his company sub-contracted to several other aircraft builders.

And similarly Dashwood Lang was the prop designer and maker for Sopwith and the RNAS. Again there was some sub-contracting.

In September 1917 the existence of independent air forces for both the Navy and the Army was overtaken by the decision to form a single air arm, the Royal Air Force, which came into existence on 1 April 1918.

Around late Autumn 1917 the newly formed Air Board began ordering aircraft and propellers for both the Navy and the Army. Propellers were ordered in batches of 100 and each batch was numbered with a pre-fix G, and the 100 props in each batch with the letter N.

As your prop has no such batch number we might make two assumptions: that it was made for the RNAS and/or it was made before batch numbers came into existence; i.e. in late 1917.

With kind regards,

Bob
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Old 08-28-2018, 12:49 PM   #8
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I just googled Sopwith Scout short nose and there are images of other props with it written on. Doesn't help much though does it?
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:09 PM   #9
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Thanks again. Great background info that adds to the “story”.

Interesting that the designation of “Short Nose” was important enough to stamp on most if not all of these props. Maybe it refers to the fitting of the prop to the engine and the hardware needed.
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